The UK goverment is to spend £1.5m to allow 15 local authorities to test out an innovative new technology that could help catch benefit fraudsters.
UK anti-fraud minister James Plaskitt made the announcement to fund the additional pilot schemes and to extend existing ones after initial results from seven pilots across 14 local authorities proved successful.
The Voice Risk Analysis (VRA) system, supplied by Digilog UK, uses a number of algorithms to produce a computerised analysis of risk in speech flow – either as it happens, or, as was captured in a recording.
These identified risks not only reveal signposts to truth but also to deception, uncertainty, excitement, and inaccuracy.
Pre-existing stress levels (which can vary considerably) of each individual customer are always taken into account before a VRA evaluation is applied. This ensures that analysis is tailored to accommodate the individual’s unique set of circumstances at the specific time their responses are analysed.
Harrow Council, working in partnership with Capita, launched the first test of VRA on 21 May 2007 to help assess Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit claims.
Capita Group, in conjunction with Digilog UK, assisted in the development and implementation of the pilot. This involved supplying the system, and advising on its use and training.